Evolution of the tree


The Amazing Spider-Man vs the Kingpin, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, 1990

Great game, for its time. Spidey enters warehouses full of crates. And runs about on them. Being 1990, he couldn’t attach his web to any of them – that was reserved for the top of the screen. Still, we’re loving their checker-board shading. Three colors FTW.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo, SNES, 1994

This is more like it. What at first looks like an incidental background object suddenly becomes interesting as you send your opponent crashing through it, sending shards of splintered wood everywhere. The noise they make is satisfying too. Capcom sure gives good ‘crate’.

Crash Bandicoot, PSone, 1995

Crash is probably the first game most people would think of when crates are mentioned (which isn’t very often, if truth be told). He jumps at them from underneath, bounces on top of them – even spin smashes them to pieces. And they usually have apples in, just like real crates. Art imitates life.

Resident Evil 4, GC/Wii/PS2, 2005

There’s less certainty about the contents of Resi 4’s crates. The game lulls you into a false sense of security by offering ammo or green herbs, like this one, but then springs a nasty surprise with a snake. Great splintering physics, mind.

Heavenly Sword, PS3, 2007

Look at the detail here. Nariko has just thrown that guy to the floor, breaking several crates simultaneously, each with superb real-time physics. Crates don’t get much better. What a pity gameplay does...